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UK.gov was warned of smart meter debacle by Cabinet Office in 2012

The government was warned of the risks surrounding its controversial smart meter programme four years ago, according to a leaked internal report seen by The Register, but appears to have largely ignored those concerns. A review of the programme from March 2012 highlights the vulnerability of smart meters to cyber-attacks, and …
Kat Hall, 30 Nov 2016
Snooping image via Shutterstock

UK Parliament waves through 'porn-blocking' Digital Economy Bill

MPs have passed the UK government's controversial Digital Economy Bill, which will force internet service providers to impose blocks on porn sites that do not include mandatory age checks or feature kinky sex acts. The proposed law has also been heavily criticised for enabling government departments greater access to citizens …
Kat Hall, 29 Nov 2016

Lib Dems to oppose porn checks in Blighty's Digital Economy Bill

The Liberal Democrats are to oppose plans to impose strict age regulations on porn sites in the UK's forthcoming Digital Economy Bill – describing the measures as something the "Russian or Chinese governments" would impose. The proposed law is due for a report-stage vote and third reading in the Commons on Monday afternoon. …
Kat Hall, 28 Nov 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Sharing's caring? Not when you spread data across gov willy-nilly

Digital Economy Bill Privacy campaigners and academics have called for the removal of personal data sharing proposals in the forthcoming Digital Economy Bill. The Bill puts government ministers in control of citizens' personal data, "a significant change in the relationship between citizen and state," wrote 26 signatories in a letter to The …
Kat Hall, 25 Nov 2016
(c) Rama, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr

Government regulation will clip coders' wings, says Bruce Schneier

Infosec 2016 Government regulation of the Internet of Things will become inevitable as connected kit in arenas as varied as healthcare and power distribution becomes more commonplace, according to security guru Bruce Schneier. “Governments are going to get involved regardless because the risks are too great. When people start dying and …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2016
Police search

Your comms metadata is super-revealing but the law doesn't protect it

America's legal world needs to rethink what it considers people's private information so it can get a grip on today's spying techniques. Stemming from 1970s telephone laws, communications metadata – which details who you talk to, when and where etc – is considered by the courts to be separate from the actual contents of your …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jun 2016

Surveillance forestalls more 'draconian' police powers – William Hague

Infosec 2016 Lord Hague has predicted that Western societies will enact laws and regulations against unbreakable encryption – while conceding that the technology has always existed. The former UK foreign secretary, who is also a historian and author of a biography of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, told delegates at the Infosec …
John Leyden, 8 Jun 2016
barbed wire by https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertszlivka/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Australia needs a technology industry policy debate

Comment Neither of Australia's parties of government has a useful policy or plan for the technology portfolios beyond an attachment to buzzwords and a wish to emulate Silicon Valley. Here's how to identify policy cluelessness: anyone naming Uber as a significant employer. It's not now, it will not be in the future, and yet both of …

China makes internet shut-downs official with new security law

China is able to shut off internet access during major 'social security incidents' and has granted its Cyberspace Administration agency wider decision making powers under a draft law published this month. The draft also appears to require critical infrastructure organisations including foreign entities to store "important" …
Darren Pauli, 13 Jul 2015

Choc Factory finds 84,000 ad injectors targeting Chrome

Google spam abuse researcher Kurt Thomas says some 84,000 injectors and apps are targeting its Chrome web browser with dodgy advertising. Thomas says the apps include 50,000 browser extensions and 34,000 applications which target Chrome to display revenue-generating ads within the sites that victims browse. About a third of …
Darren Pauli, 7 May 2015
Suitcase bulging with cash

Google spent record cash lobbying Congress in 2014 – report

Google poured a record amount of cash into lobbying the US Federal Government last year, outspending its tech rivals and even the major telecommunications companies, a nonprofit group has found. According to advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, Google spent US$16.83m on lobbying in 2014, a 20 per cent year-on-year increase and …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jan 2015
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

Australia mandates* cloud use by government agencies

Australia's Department of Finance has updated its Cloud Policy to say “... agencies now must adopt cloud”. Those italics are the Department's, and it also has some qualifications for the edict, namely that cloud should only be adopted “where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of data and delivers value for …

Net Neutrality? Hold my coffee, I got this: FCC says it's still considering all options for Open Web

The Federal Communications Commission says that – despite immense pressure from all sides – all options are still on the table for implementing its grand Open Internet scheme. That's the scheme that may or may not end up enforcing so-called net neutrality rules on the internet, and has had millions of comments from the public …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Sep 2014
australia

Tech policy battle: Australian Industry Group vs. Information Industries Association

Two big lobby groups have just released their visions for Australia's future economy, and agree on the need for reform that will help Australia's technology sector to improve its performance. Let's start with business lobby group The Australian Industry Group (AIG), which this morning published its 10 point plan for a strong …
big droplets falling from rain cloud

CSC straddles clouds with ServiceMesh gobble

The worst thing about the cloud for users tends to be the built-in policy tools that are either very expensive or too broad in scope to fit the peculiarities of any one organization. So providers of private and public clouds have been busily buying up firms that make it easier to layer a specific set of rules and allocations …
Jack Clark, 31 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

National Security Letters ruled unconstitutional

A federal court judge has ruled that National Security Letters (NSLs) – the controversial, ultra-clandestine surveillance tools used by the FBI to gather information on individuals – are unconstitutional and must be halted. In a ruling issued on Thursday, Judge Susan Illston of the US District Court in San Francisco found that …
Neil McAllister, 16 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

Obama cybersecurity order mandates better information sharing

RSA 2013 President Obama's executive order on cybersecurity means security officers at critical infrastructure companies will get greater clearances from the government to access its information, says a Department of Homeland Security honcho. The "unprecedented" executive order, which Obama revealed during his State of the Union …
Jack Clark, 25 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Google misses privacy-policy deadline, incurs EU wrath

Google has been told by a group of EU regulators that it faces "a coordinated repressive action" before this summer, due to the fact that the online search advertising giant has ignored their order to make changes to and provide information about its privacy policies. Last January, Google unified 60 of its products' individual …
Rik Myslewski, 19 Feb 2013

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